Interview With Richard D. Osborne

From the interview with Richard D. Osborne of Sammamish, WA conducted at the Fort Worden History Center by Clio Ward on June 15, 2004. Mr. Osborne served in both world War II and the Korean War. He was stationed at Fort Worden in 1950/51. Here he describes his duties while stationed here:

“We lived in the Officers’ Row on the base of Fort Worden. I was only a Captain. Now, Officers’ Row and any of that activity was fine. Most everybody participated in the activities right here at Fort Worden. My unit was over at Flagler. Every morning at about four 0’clock I got up and walked down to the beach where my M-boat picked me up and took me across to Marrowstone Island and my jeep met me down there and we started our day’s activity. Probably finished around six or seven o’clock. I went back down, got in my little M-boat, brought me back over from the island where I would get home, nine, 10 or 11 o’clock.

At Flagler, I was the executive officer of the battalion over there. But the commanding officer came down with parrot fever–he had never heard of parrot fever before. Apparently, it had something to do with the bird droppings in these ols barracks that were over there and there were a few people, eight or nine, who became ill. He was sent down to San Francisco to the hospital for several months, so while still a nice little Captain, I had the battalion that was assigned over at Flagler.”

When asked about participating in life at Fort Worden: “There were always wonderful activities up at the Officers Club. …There are lots of stories about the club, because the Second Engineer Special Brigade was kind of a wild outfit. They were attached to the military, but they were adjusting to civilian life. When they left for Japan, they took virtually any furniture or utilities, refrigerators or stoves or whatever, out of the Officers’ Quarters and the barracks; all of the silverware that belonged to the unit and everything from the clubhouse. They took it all with them when they were sent over to Japan.”

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